After committing a whopping five turnovers in the New York Jets’ 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, quarterback Mark Sanchez has been benched.
The 26-year-old play-caller doomed the Jets (6-8), who’re now mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, by throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble on the Jets’ final possession. As a result of that forgettable performance and the struggles Sanchez has had the entire 2012-13 season, backup Greg McElroy will start this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
This season, Sanchez, who helped the Jets reach the AFC Championship game his first two years, has thrown 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, and completed 229 passes in 418 attempts (54.8 percent) for an NFL 24th-ranked 2,678 yards. By comparison, the NFL’s top-10 passing yardage totals range from 3,588 to 4,335. New York Giants QB Eli Manning, for instance, ranks ninth on the passing yards list with 3,590.
But unlike Manning and other QBs who’ve tallied far more passing yards than Sanchez, Sanchez hasn’t a reliable receiving corps on which to depend. Let’s go back to Manning for a moment. The two-time Super Bowl MVP has an elite receiving duo in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and reliable third and fourth options in receiver Domenik Hixon and tight end Martellus Bennett.
The Jets, on the other hand, lost their top receiver, Santonio Holmes, to a season-ending foot injury in Week 4. Much worse yet, their front office has failed miserably to develop players at the position. So while the horrendous play of Sanchez, who’ll be owed $8.25 million in 2013, unquestionably expedited the ruination of Gang Green’s postseason hopes, he wasn’t helped at all by working within an immensely weak offense.
The Jets rank 28th (out of 32 teams) in points scored. Last I checked, general manager Mike Tannenbaum assembled this Jets team, and Rex Ryan was his head coach. Sanchez, Tannenbaum and Ryan—plenty of blame to go around.
By Ray Monell